Mark Cairns puts on a wonderfully clever show, astounding his audience with his ‘mind reading’ abilities. With fantastically entertaining and mind blowing tricks, Cairns knows his subject and expertly fascinates his audience into stunned appreciation. Still with no idea how he carries out his tricks, I’m not quite sure how to praise his performance. Think Derren Brown but on a smaller scale.
I only had one issue with this show. Cairns is clearly a very intelligent man and has studied people/neurology in depth and yes, he can certainly put on an excellent ‘mind reading’ show. That doesn’t mean he can be condescending to his audience, though. Sure he knows how the brain works better than I do, but please don’t spend a considerable amount of the show telling the audience we will never be able to work out his tricks (obviously we’re not clever enough) and we shouldn’t bother attempting our own theories. Other than this minor annoyance, I had a thoroughly excellent time at this show.
Cairns used a substantial amount of audience interaction, which is always entertaining to watch (although remembering someone’s name for a few minutes wouldn’t hurt.) Each participant was amazed at Cairns’ skill and it was obvious that Cairns is very good at what he does - there were no slip ups throughout the performance, with accurate ‘mind reading’ the whole time.
This show has a personal touch to it too, Cairns sharing his story with the audience and giving it a more human dimension. Doing so worked really well, otherwise it may have felt a little too scientific for the average audience. I, for one, appreciated the personal touch – it made the show more accessible.
All in all, a stunning and provocative show which absolutely made me question how much of our choices and behaviours are really our own and what is simply a trick of the brain or a function in our nature. Highly confusing yet brilliantly entertaining, Cairns is set to blow the minds of the Edinburgh Fringe audiences.